Amy Kerr, June 6, 2016

It began in 2009 when I was crippled with anxiety and a sense of worthlessness, fear, and shear heartache after finding out my father had been having an affair for a number of years behind my mum’s back. I was the one who found out. I was the one who kept it from my mother for 3 weeks, until one night I couldn't cope with the guilt. I broke down crying hysterically as I told my amazing, beautiful, strong and courageous mother that her husband of 24 years, had been having an affair.
Once the weight had been lifted, I was left feeling numb. My mum was amazing, I still to this day admire her strength, determination and love throughout it all. In a sense I felt that if she could handle it... I could. But it wasn't quite that simple. Behind closed doors I wished that I wouldn't wake up the following morning, I felt suicidal. I sat on the end of my bed contemplating just ending the pain. This wasn't just about what happened with my parents any more; it had become something much greater.
The next day I booked and appointment, I received the help I so desperately needed. I didn't tell anyone because I was so ashamed of telling anyone. Not even my mum, or my sisters. At the time, I believed that if I told people, they would think I was making it up, because on the outside I was fine. I tried my best to show the world I was ok, I was strong and I could deal with it. But in my head all I could think about was how much easier it would be if I wasn't alive anymore.
It might sound ridiculous, but I relied a lot on my dog. She would love me when I felt like no one else could. She would sense my bad days and never leave my side. She wouldn't ask questions, she was just there, when I needed her the most.
A few months had passed and I felt the time was right to tell my family that I had been receiving help. But their reaction was something quite different to what I expected. The love, warmth and support I received from them was indescribable. Little did I know, they had been fighting a battle I knew nothing about. Without their love and support I'm not sure where I would be today.
I still have my down days, there have also been low points in my life since then ... But what I've come to realise is that is life. I'm now 24 and I feel like in the last year I've finally felt like me... Finally felt like I've become the person I never thought I would or could be. Trying to articulate the feelings of deep despair, hopelessness and numbness is hard. In the black looming fog, getting out of bed was around a 5% success rate let alone leaving the house.
The opportunity to write a blog made me want to share my story, and to show that there should be no shame, and there should be no stigma. No one should be afraid to tell their loved ones about a mental health problem, like I was.


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